Saturday, 12 September 2009

Umno - Nurturing Intolerance/Extremism?

Extremists think ''communication'' means agreeing with them.
-Leo Rosten

There is nothing wrong with "extremism" per se - one can be extreme in a good way. Most prophets of old were "extremists" in their own way, in their search for justice and truth. As for me, there is no way that perpetrators of unprovoked violence, can convince me that their violence can be justified, when they themselves defile the tenets that they apparently hold dear.

The question is not whether we will be extremists,
but what kind of extremists we will be.

The point here is this - it isn't exactly the extremism, but the unrestrained intolerance to differences, which sparks the violence which we see in Malaysia today. The worst among these, are those who themselves do not believe in that which they claim to speak for, and only wish to exploit the gullible and silent masses, or a situation, for their own selfish agendas. It is what breeds the "violent" demonstrations we see in our country today - which despite the claims made, are quite obviously sponsored by "certain elements" in the leadership.

In Malaysia, we do not have extremists bearing arms or bombs (at least not yet, unless they belong to security forces, or have connections to the C4 stores) - they are of a more "sophisticated" breed of fascists. They often walk along the corridors of power.

Yes, sir - today, the extremists who espouse intolerance reside even in the hallowed halls of the parliament, government, judiciary, civil service and apparently, even the security forces - a big "thank you" to Mahathir for this "achievement", I should say.
They seek to exploit the insecurities and vulnerabilities in society to exert their authority on the peaceful people of the country.
Earth's dispossessed are vulnerable targets for extremists:
those who teach that global justice is meaningless;
that satisfaction can come only in violence, division, and intellectual isolation.
-Abdallah II

What is obvious here is the fact that the extremists in our political circles, having lost hopelessly in the intellectual debates that have hogged the news lately, intend to "up the ante" and indulge in the provocation of violence. Actions that stand for blatant racism or religious bigotry are defended by these "leaders" of a "master race", in their attempt to intimidate dissenters and a peace loving public. It is quite likely that they wouldn't hesitate to have the best thugs and hooligans that money can buy, do their bidding - to create chaos in the public realm to create fear, for fear is a very potent political tool.

All these events, do not in the least inspire confidence among the people or the business community. This brings to mind what Ayn Rand said on how to judge the state of the nation - "watch the money" i.e. flight of capital ...... the drop in our FDI over the last 5 years, is hardly inspiring. It is only Petroleum (despite Petrona's very secret accounts) that is keeping our economy afloat.
When things get tough, man start looking for hope - and soon enough, turn to religion- which in turn can can be explosive when mixed with politics.

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity,
human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity,
idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.
-Aldous Huxley


Things will probably explode on the streets, they day the economic fallout of corruption and bad governance hits the belly - for a hungry man is an angry man. Going by events that have developed over the last 18 months, that is a very likely scenario in the coming days......... and no amount of armored personnel can stop the human spirit - unless of course they want to do a "Tiananmen or Saddam Hussein".
We cannot nurture extremist/terrorism, cling to the cause, and wish the results away
- so fasten your seat-belts (or flak jackets), guys ...... we've got a roller-coaster ride coming right up!!! But of course such a prospect can be averted, provided Umno can be dislodged from power - but that ain't gonna come easy, no matter how much Malaysians rant and whine about the impotence of PR in making "instant" changes.

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

-Barry Goldwater


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